Changes to Greek Week allow new members to participate

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Lehigh’s annual Greek Week has returned to campus with new events and a new start date. Unlike past years, Greek Week is being held in the spring semester to encourage participation across all chapters.

Greek Week began on Tuesay. Megan Kienzle, ’17, vice president of Greek Relations for the Panhellenic Council, said the change was implemented to promote higher attendance than in previous years.

“This gave us a longer time to plan and get feedback from chapters,” she said.

Kienzle said the change in semesters also allowed for more time to plan the event on campus and promote it to the Greek community. Instead of coordinating everything over the summer through phone calls and online conferences, she said the newly formed Greek Week committee could meet in person during the fall semester and figure out logistics more easily.

To increase student involvement outside of Panhel, the committee was created to include student volunteers from the Greek community. The committee met throughout the year to plan the event, and voiced their respective chapters’ opinions and suggestions.

Neha Bhuskute, ’18, served as a member of this year’s Greek Week committee. Bhuskute said the past years saw fewer chapters represented due to difficulties in communicating the schedule over the summer, and chapters often felt unprepared heading into the week. This has led to entire chapters missing events and not being able to earn points for their teams. She said in the past it was often unclear how many interested participants would be needed for each event which led to lower attendance.

Despite the previous years’ attendance problems, Bhuskute said Greek Week was an enjoyable experience.

Lehigh’s deferred recruitment policy creates lower chapter total in the fall, and Kienzle hopes the addition of new members will lead to higher participation.

Because of the different sizes of chapters and the number of organizations on campus, teams for Greek Week are made up of two fraternities and one sorority. These teams accumulate points through both attendance and results, depending on the event.

Kienzle said a major addition to this year’s Greek Week is the new T-shirt design competition. In the past a single design was created by Panhel and IFC and was distributed to the teams. With the competition, Greek chapters can submit their own designs for the year’s Greek Week shirt.

“This makes sure people actually like the T-shirt rather than just the council deciding,” Kienzle said.

Other new events for this year’s Greek Week include Pie a Pres. Held on the UC Front Lawn, Pie a Pres. lets students throw a pie at the different chapter presidents for a dollar. The money raised is donated to the Victory House of Lehigh Valley, a local charity supporting homeless men and women.

The week’s Day of Service features charity work for the Hispanic Center and Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley Second Harvest, a local food bank. In addition, Lehigh’s yearly Relay for Life event will be held Friday in Grace Hall. The event has passed its goal of raising $82,500 for the American Cancer Society, and includes several teams from the Greek community.

Events from past Greek Weeks will still be included, such as field games on Goodman Campus and a dance competition hosted by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

Daniel Truong, ’18, said the field games were the most memorable parts of Greek Week and that he was able to meet lots of new people during the events.

With these changes allowing for more participants than past events, Kienzle said she hopes having more attendees will give Greek members the chance to meet new people and enjoy themselves.

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